When Do Prices Drop for Last-Minute Cruises

When do prices drop for last-minute cruises? At one time, people were able to take advantage of day-of-departure cruises, which offered some pretty attractive discounts. However, in recent years, changes to Homeland Security laws have had an impact on last-minute travel planning. Additionally, since Customs requires that a passenger manifest for each cruise be supplied to them 96 hours prior to the time passengers will board, such offerings are now a thing of the past.

Another factor to take into consideration when searching for information on last-minute family cruises is that the majority of cruises nowadays sell out quickly. Regardless of the current economic situation, cabins fill up in a flash. This is true year round; seasons have little or no effect on the desires of those who are interested in taking a cruise vacation.

Getting The Best Deals
Passengers who want to get the best deals on any given cruise package have found that it is now best to book as early as possible, even nine months to a year in advance. While browsing the Web sites of certain cruise lines, it is often possible to find notices stating that walkups are not accepted and the best way to get the lowest prices is to plan ahead and book early.

Prices tend to fluctuate based on the perceived availability of cabins on a particular cruise. If cabins are selling quickly, the prices may soar upward. Likewise, if people seem to be passing on booking cabins for a certain cruise, the prices will typically take a steep dive downward.

The Truth About Last-Minute Price Drops
Royal Caribbean cruises, as well as others, typically have some rather interesting price fluctuations during the last 60 days prior to departure. This is considered to be based on the number of empty cabins still awaiting booking. You can often book a last-minute cruise during this time for less than the standard retail rates.

In regards to booking cruises at discount prices, the phrase "last-minute" normally applies to cabins that are booked 59 days or less from the date of the cruise. The reason for this is actually quite simple. Since passengers who place advanced bookings are required to make the final payment 60 days before the cruise, the cruise line is able to discern just how many cabins remain empty at that time. Therefore, discounts are made in order to facilitate filling the ship to capacity. This is the time to seek last-minute price drops. 

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